Before you read my opinion, I must tell you that I am not a lawyer, but a full-time participant in the digital industry since 2009. I have dedicated more than twenty thousand hours to research, undertake and share how to function efficiently in the Age 4.0.
I am going to turn 55 years old, and by now I must confess that the best way for politicians to allow this or that activity to prosper is to stay away, do nothing, because they usually end up muddying it and, in this case, killing what could be the goose that lays the golden eggs of the new generation.
In truth, I don’t trust the intentions of politicians. Not at all.
To begin with, the Ecuador Fintech Law supports its raison d’être on premises:
– Exclusive, such as art. 39 of the Constitution of the Republic that urges support for young people to the detriment of those of us who are not.
– Ambiguous, like the last line of art. 308 where “the State will promote access to financial services and the democratization of credit.”
– Lyrics, such as the objectives of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development approved in 2015 by the UN, of which Ecuador is a part, which seeks the construction of resilient infrastructures, the promotion of sustainable industrialization and the promotion of innovation.
– Inaccurate, as one of the Objectives of the National Development Plan 2017-2021, which seeks to boost productivity and competitiveness for sustainable economic growth in a redistributive and supportive way.
– Relative, such as paragraph eight of the Fintech Ecuador Law, which relies on the high penetration of cellular telephony, and the large percentage of entrepreneurship that presumably distinguishes Ecuador as an innovative and proactive country.
Once the Recitals are passed, a Law is entered that seeks to regulate absolutely everything that happens in a scenario that has not yet been born, and even of things that do not exist or are about to be invented.
For the Fintech Law, any undertaking that by chance has to do with financial transactions will be considered Fintech, even if it is to sell salchipapas in an e-commerce, since these are the first on the list, payment services and transfers, payment platforms follow, electronic wallets and international transfers.
In other words, if tomorrow a couple of teenagers think of creating a reward plan that distributes chocolates or candies for each sandwich sold on their Facebook page and collected with a payment link, to finance their end-of-year trip, they will be considered Fintech.
Everything that is customer evaluation, risk profiles, fraud prevention, identity verification, banking APIs, payment means aggregators, big data and analytics!, Business intelligence, cybersecurity and electronic contracting, will be considered Fintech.
In such a way, no one will be able to create a program or sales analysis, business forecasts or macroeconomics, or anything remotely similar, because they will be considered Fintech! Don’t even think of consultants talking about Business Intelligence, because they will be Fintech!
And we are not even halfway there …
All those who generate credit information via digital, if they are companies that promote or offer credit through digital platforms, even without granting them, enter the Fintech bucket.
All developers of financial solutions for companies, accounting software and infrastructure for digital invoicing and financial management will be from the Fintech team! Even if you sell or give away financial plans in Excel as magnet leads for digital marketing campaigns.
And it’s missing! …
Everyone who generates knowledge in personal finance and financial advice, personal finance management, financial product comparators and distributors, financial education, automated advisors and financial planning, they will all be Fintech!!!
That is, if you make money on your website through Affiliate Marketing and they pay you to display, compare and sell books by Robert Kiyosaki, Jürgen Klaric, Suze Orman or Dave Ramsey, you are Fintech!; If you are a motivator, coach or author and you sell your books on your website, you are also Fintech!
If by chance you think to open a collective financing or crowdfunding platform, or buy and sell cryptocurrencies, or create blockchain -even for fun- you are Fintech-.
The Fintech Law also indicates that, for test or Sandbox processes, you must request authorization. In other words, if you come up with something, sensible or crazy, you must first request authorization from the Superintendency of Banks or Companies, to see if they authorize you, and then justify your progress or failure.
It also tells you that you will have two mega bosses: for corporate matters, the Superintendency of Companies; for financial companies, the Superintendency of Banks.
And of course, the most important thing is in the contribution to be paid by all those who consider undertaking in any of the areas that Fintech covers, whether it be to sell Condorito or green tortillas online.
There are the usual prohibitions, so that if a bank invests in a Fintech, it cannot invest in another company, thus restricting the freedom to undertake where it is best considered.
My conclusions are as follows:
a.- The Ecuador Fintech Law does not promote anything and regulates everything, in fact, it is a straitjacket that will limit any entrepreneurial initiative today and in the future. In fact, there has not been any relevant development in the last two years that remains in force, and those who started activities are migrating to countries that are friendly with this kind of initiative, such as Colombia, Peru, Chile, United States, Switzerland, Holland, Germany. or Singapore.
b.- The Fintech Law is made in a hurry, it has no purpose, it was created to make noise about things that are not understood, because Era 4.0 is not an easy matter to assimilate, it is of great specialty, it requires a lot of experience and a broad vision, otherwise, the remedy will be worse than the disease.
c.- The Fintech Law seeks to raise funds on activities that are not clearly defined, that is, it talks about fees and contributions, but it does not talk about what will be charged, whether on amounts to invest, digital assets, intellectual property, or what same.
d.- The Fintech Law does not give any type of legal security to entrepreneurs or digital investors; it only talks about regulations and contributions.
e.- If the promoters of the Fintech Law really wanted to support such varied and dynamic initiatives, such as digital ones, the best thing they can do is withdraw this legal attempt, do nothing and wait for the industry to settle, well, in truth, said law encourages nothing.
f.- The Fintech Law is one more demonstration of the absolute ignorance that exists in the political class about the new realities, they only seek momentary prominence without measuring the consequences.
They, the politicians, regulators and their entire group of influence, must understand that there will only be one opportunity for Ecuador to come out of underdevelopment and it is through Era 4.0, if by demagoguery a law is established that will discourage investments, we will be condemned to the third world, forever. (OR)